October 1, 2018

Creating New Pathways

Helping my daughter with a paper, I came across an article about neuroplasticity. Basically, it's the ability of the brain to change it's pathways. It's literally like going down a new road instead of taking the old path you're accustomed to.

It's extremely hard to change, because our minds want to take the easy way ~ the way we've always done things. Our brain loves to simplify things for us and revert to a default we've created.

I've been working to retrain my brain. I have beliefs and thoughts that I don't want to live by anymore, ones that don't help me. And I'm finding there are a LOT of them!

Listening to Brooke Castillo's podcast has helped me think through my patterns. She says since we used to survive in the wild, our brain figured out a way to keep us alive by taking the path of least resistance. This worked for us back in the day when a lion could be lurking around the corner. We needed to stay where it was safe and not venture too far.

But for most of us, the lion days are gone and dangers are not lurking on new paths. In fact, to get somewhere new in life, we have to take a different path.

I'm at a crossroads now.

My kids are pretty much grown and they'll probably be completely on their own in the next five years. So here I am forging a new path, finding out where I want to go and what I want my destination to be! But it's a weird in-between place.

I'm torn between the past of nurturing little people, to now standing on the sidelines and deciding what is it I want to do with the rest of my life.

I'm learning to make plans. I've kind of let life take me along, and thankfully it's been a great life! But now I'm setting intention and getting serious about hidden desires and dreams I've not yet pursued. I'm changing my thoughts about who I am and what I'm capable of.

I've been limiting myself for years, hemming myself into this person that doesn't take risks, sits scared behind other people and isn't willing to lead. But the last few years I've been changing those stories. I'm starting to believe a different story about myself. That I am capable of taking risks and that I am brave enough to walk forward with fear beside me.

Changing pathways in your mind is HARD! It's difficult to watch all the thoughts running across my mind like an energized puppy. It's work to not resist the negative emotions, but to sit with them and work through them. It's so uncomfortable! I've wanted change to be easy, but it's not. 

Yet, there is something in my core that's driving me to do the work. Put in the time and change the story I'm telling myself. I have a dream of living to a healthy 100 years old, so I've got a lot of life yet to live and I want to live the FIRE out of it!

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